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Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Intel Highlights Future of Computing

Intel Labs opened its doors to the media, academia, partners and its customers today at the 9th annual Research at Intel event, where Justin Rattner, Intel Corporation chief technology officer, unveiled more than 35 research projects underway that will help transform the future of technology.

Many of these projects are the result of joint research among different divisions of Intel and its academic and industry partners. Additionally, Rattner announced the latest Intel Science Technology Center (ISTC), a new collaborative framework for security research between Intel and several leading universities.

Focused on secure computing, Intel's latest ISTC is hosted at the University of California, Berkeley, and also includes partnerships with Carnegie Mellon, Drexel, Duke and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This center represents the next $15 million installment of Intel's recently announced 5-year, $100 million ISTC program to increase university research and accelerate innovation. As with the first ISTC for Visual Computing, the new Secure Computing center will encourage tighter collaboration between university thought leaders and Intel.

The ISTC for secure computing will focus its research on a variety of areas over the next 5 years, including making personal computers safer from malware, securing mobile devices, both in terms of data protection for the individual, as well as making it safer to download data to devices, and use of third party applications. Another key area researchers will address is how to protect personal data once it is scattered throughout the Web. Today people share their personal data all over the Internet when signing up for a variety of services. Users exert little to no control over their personal data once they've granted access to it, and as such, the new ISTC will look into ways to give people more control and make their data more secure.

Demonstrations at the Research at Intel event spanned such areas as visual computing, security and authentication to user experience and cloud computing. For example:

- "Unleashing the Potential of Intel Processor Graphics" for cryptography operations demonstrates how faster and more efficiently security measures can be achieved using the 2nd Generation Intel Core processor-based platforms.

- "Authentication of the Future" shows how identify theft can be avoided when using a trusted client with advanced authentication and user presence techniques by locally establishing your identity and confirming it with Web-based services, improving both the security and user experience.

- "Magic Mirror" provides a look at a virtual shopping experience with a realistic avatar of the shopper dressed in the latest fashions. This demo shows a 3-D avatar that tracked movements in real-time and changed body dimensions using gesture.

- "Steerable Sound" shows spherical loudspeakers that not only give best-in-class sound reproduction, but also dynamic, steerable sound analogous to traditional acoustic musical instruments.

- "Automatic Classroom Collaboration" shows how students can form collaborative groups automatically using Intel-based classmate PCs. Proximity detection technology finds classmate PCs near a student and helps to form a group automatically with students who are in the vicinity. With a click of a button students can form groups, start collaborating on a project, take a quiz together or compete with each other.

- "Wireless Energy Sensing Technology" (WEST) is an easy-to-use plug-in device that uses pattern recognition to determine when different electrical loads turn on and off in the home. Using a simple application, homeowners can examine a variety of energy reports to help them better manage their energy consumption.

- The "Many-Core Applications Research" community shows how more than 80 worldwide institutions are researching future software using Intel Lab's 48-core single-chip Cloud Computer concept chip.

Intel Labs also announced it will release source code for its Distributed Scene Graph 3-D Internet technology. This code is part of an ongoing effort to augment the OpenSim open-source virtual world simulator and will enable developers to build virtual regions where people can work or play online with a cast of thousands, instead of being limited to less than a hundred today ? a more than 20 times improvement. Virtual environments have applications from entertainment and education to social networking. Intel showed an example of how the technology could enable a massive multi-player "game" to train first responders for different disaster scenarios.

Also this month, Intel Labs will release as open source its offline ray tracing code to researchers and developers. Ray tracing is a computer graphics technique that produces photo-realistic images by tracing imaginary light rays to determine where and how every part of an object should be illuminated. Intel showed how this code will improve the speed by up to 100 percent on Intel-based systems. This advanced ray tracing code targets professional applications and is a separate effort from the company's game-focused, real-time ray tracing project shown previously. The code is expected to find use in commercial applications such as designing cars, making movies and visualizing new architectural designs.

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